Saturday, February 26, 2011

My very first pregnancy appointment & ultrasound!

Yesterday was my very first pregnancy appointment and ultrasound!  I was 8 weeks and 2 days.  They said to expect the appointment to last 2 1/2 hours, so I took the day off from work.  DH took off from his morning job as well to be able to come with me.

First they took my weight and blood pressure (I've gained 5 lbs already and blood pressure was 110/62), followed by a nurse asking me ALL of the exact same questions that I filled out on the medical history forms they mailed me after I called about my pregnancy.  She said the reason why she had to do that was because most people aren't really thinking about it seriously when they're filling it out, and then they suddenly remember something that they didn't put down on the form.

One of the big things the nurse said they're going to do is to check and see if I have an immunity to chicken pox.  Both of my sisters had it at separate times when we were kids, and I never caught it from either of them.  I finally got the vaccination when I was 13, but I never got a booster shot when I was 23 because that's when we started TTC.  The other big thing is DH has a genetic blood disorder called HHT.  HHT is a disorder that causes abnormalities of blood vessels.  It basically means that DH gets a lot of nose bleeds that take a long time to stop, and he can't take ibuprofen.  Sometimes it's his lip if it's super cracked.  He's never been officially tested for it, but he has family members who have.  The doc said that it shouldn't affect the pregnancy since I'm not the one with bleeding problems.

I also asked the nurse about exercise.  All the information that the office gave me said to not let my heart rate go over 140 when exercising.  However, when I wore a heart rate monitor at the gym on Thursday, I barely broke a sweat trying to keep my heart rate between 140 and 145 for 45 minutes.  It was not a good workout at all.  She said that I shouldn't go above 140 because then there is less blood flow to my uterus, which isn't good for the baby.

After the long round of questions, the nurse gave us a ton of freebie reading material, and we went to a sub-waiting room for a 1/2 hour till the doc was ready.

Once we saw the doc, I asked her the same question about exercise.  She said if you go by the books, it's 140.  She also said that it's a number that was made up by a patriarchal medical society over 40 years ago, and there's not a whole lot of research to back it up.  She told me about a couple of marathon runners who, when they were pregnant, had to "back off" to a 6 minute mile because pregnancy slowed them down a bit.  I can't imagine going "down" to a 6 minute mile!  My personal best is 7:37.  Anyway, she said that if I was overweight and not active at all, 140 would be the number.  However, since I am active, she's okay with me going higher as long as I can be aware of how my body is doing.  I was so delighted to hear this!  (Side note: I told my mom about this later, and she told me that I shouldn't go over 140.  I'm like, Mom--you're not a medical professional, and you're only basing this off of feeling because you're being a worry wart.  I'm healthy!  She told me she wasn't happy with it, but agreed to drop the subject since I asked).

After that, the doc did a pap smear since my last one was 9 months ago, and I can't have it done later in pregnancy.  She gave me a pad afterward, saying that my cervix was super sensitive and will bleed for a while and to not be alarmed because the blood is coming from me, not the baby.  That was good to know.

Finally came the ultrasound!  This all happened in the span of 10 seconds, but it felt like an ETERNITY to me.  Here's what she did followed by my thoughts (in italics):

Doc: Here's your uterus.

Me: Where's the baby?!

Doc: Here's the sac (black on the screen).

Me: WHERE'S THE BABY?!?!?!?!  Oh my gosh, it's not there.  I've got an empty sac with no baby.

Doc: And here's your baby!

I'm speechless.  There in the middle of the screen is a little peanut with a beating heart.  I can even see the valves opening and closing!  The doc measures the peanut.  She's (I'm using the pronoun "she" instead of "it", and it's not because I have a feeling that she's a girl because I don't care either way) 16.3 mm long, and the heart rate is 163 bpm.  I can remember those numbers because they're exactly the same :)  The baby measured at exactly 8 weeks, even though I'm 8 weeks 2 days.  Doc said that they'll still keep the same due date, October 5th, unless the measurements put the date off by more than a week.

Apparently I conceived with the follicle on my left ovary, which was the smaller of the 2 from my ultrasound on CD 14 (right ovary had a 19 mm follicle and left ovary had a 15 mm follicle).  If I had to guess, I would've said I conceived with the one on the right ovary since it was bigger.  But the corpus luteum is on my left ovary!  However, my right ovary had a cyst on it, left over from me taking Clomiphene.  Doc said it should go away by 20 weeks.  I'm hoping she's right.

Doc showed me the baby one last time before turning off the monitor.  It was so surreal.  I can't even feel it, but there's a growing life inside of me.  After the doc left the room, DH and I embraced.  We finally have a baby.  There are no words for that kind of happiness.

After leaving the ultrasound room, I go see the lab tech to get 4 vials of blood taken for testing.  The tech told me that if I don't hear back from them, no news is good news.  My next appointment is on March 23rd (12 weeks).  They'll only listen for the heart beat with a probe, so no ultrasound on that day.

I'll try and add the ultrasound picture later.  I haven't figured out how to hook up the scanner to the laptop and make it work correctly (only works with the desktop for now).

Thanks to everyone for all your prayers!

UPDATE:  I finally got the pictures uploaded!
16.3 mm & measuring at 8w0d

heart rate is 163bpm

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

8 week update & TTC Cycle #11

First, a quick update on how things are progressing...

I'm 8 weeks tomorrow.  I had to host my school's Math Fair today, and here's a picture of me introducing the finalists:

One of my close friends (and coworker) told me that I was starting to show.  I'm like, really?!  I've been eating nonstop and have gained 5 lbs in the last 4 weeks.  It's too early to start showing with only being 8 weeks along, so it's just my big gut hanging out making me LOOK like I'm showing- lol.  Oh well.  I had to eat a few crackers during the event, and one of the teacher assistants came up to me at the end of the fair.

Here's how the conversation went:
TA: Eating crackers, huh?
Me: Yep.
TA: There's only one reason I know of that you would be eating crackers (she's smiling now)
Me: (Maybe because I'm hungry?  But I can't say that.  I'm bad at lying) Yep. (I've only told my principal and 2 close friends/coworkers.  Keeping it a secret at least until after my ultrasound on Friday)
TA: Well, congratulations!
Me: Thanks, but we're trying to keep it a secret for now, so don't say anything.
TA: Gotcha.

So it looks like I'm going to have to say something to the faculty sooner rather than later if people keep asking questions like that.  It's kind of hard to keep it a secret when all your coworkers are a majority female and nosy!  Haha!

In hindsight, I see now that I'm wearing a shirt with the band underneath the breasts, which is what pregnancy shirts usually look like.  Oh well.

TTC Cycle #11: July 11, 2010-August 13, 2010 (34 days)

CD 1- Luckily I get my period the day AFTER my sister's baby shower instead of the day of.  I think the Lord was looking out for me on this one.

CD 3- Drive back from FL

CD 4- 4 year wedding anniversary <3  DH and I have a lovely evening going out to eat and having drinks downtown.  I love him so much!

CD 5- 1 year anniversary of TTC

CD 6-8- Beech Mtn, NC.  Spend a wonderful weekend with friends at a mountain chalet!

CD 9- I had my follow-up appointment today. I was so emotional and started crying as soon as my doc started talking about options with me :\:\ Basically he said that we can just keep trying naturally and that I'll get pregnant eventually, or the first baby step is to start on Clomid. He gave me a prescription to take it for Days 3-7 of my cycle (medium dosage of 100 mg) and then to see him on Day 11 to see if there's a mature follicle. I don't know if I'm going to get on it just yet...still need to talk with DH more, research it, and pray. I still have a while before we need to make a decision.

I spoke with my doc about how I thought we tested too early (Day 21) for ovulation when it occurred on Day 25 according to my charts. He said that I may have ovulated later, but most cycles past the 35 day length are anovulatory (my most recent one was 38 days). So I've probably had some ovulatory cycles and some anovulatory cycles since TTC. Doesn't help the odds of getting pregnant.

I was also diagnosed with oligomenorrhea. I only had 10 cycles in the past year of TTC instead of the normal 13 cycles per year that the average woman has. Everything I read about it says 3-9 cycles per year for oligomenorrhea, so I think I'm on the high end of the spectrum. 41 day cycles still suck, though.

CD 12-15- Spend a 3 day weekend at one of my student's family's mountain home!  DH and I haven't had a vacation (just the 2 of us) since our honeymoon that didn't involve friends or family.  The point of the weekend was to relax and focus on just us.

I can't imagine owning a home like that!

 My babies (Penny & Riley)

CD 14- I find out the DH's cousin's wife is pregnant via a text message.  Should've turned my phone off for the weekend.  I cry for about an hour, and DH talks about how I shouldn't let it ruin our weekend.  I finally stop sniffling and try to put on a happy face.  TTC for a year with no baby, and people all around me are getting pregnant.  It's such a harsh reminder of my reality.

CD 20-28- St. Augustine Beach, FL with my parents.  During the trip, DH and I talk about whether I should take Clomid.  After a few discussions, we decide to go with it.

CD 26- My 25th birthday (Aug. 6th).  My mom, DH, and I went to the St. Augustine lighthouse, did the beach in the afternoon, went out to eat, then DH took me out for drinks on St. George Street and bought me a white rose :):) Awesome day, all around.

CD 28- Stop by to see SIL on our way back home.  Nephew, S, is 8 months old now!

CD 29-32- Jonathan Creek Valley, NC with one of my bridesmaids and her DH.  Spend her birthday going to different breweries around town (just like last year!), but I'm not the DD this time (I'm already convinced I'm not pregnant this cycle).  Didn't want to relive the EXACT same birthday for her with me not drinking all over again.  We buy water shoes, drive up the road, and go lazy creek tubing for a 1 1/2 miles and end up in her parents' backyard :)

CD 35- AF arrives :(

Friday, February 18, 2011

TTC Cycle # 9 & #10

TTC Cycle #9: May 6, 2010-June 2, 2010 (28 days)

CD 4- Mother's Day.  I do okay during church until the end, when the priest asks all the mothers to stand up and the whole congregation applauds for them.  I start tearing up and manage to keep it in until I get to the car.  Why can't it be me?!  We've been trying to conceive a child for 10 months with no results.

I only wrote this on my chart: "28 day cycle! Never have had one of those before!"  I guess the rest of the cycle was uneventful.

TTC Cycle #10: June 3, 2010-July 10, 2010 (38 days)

CD 9- Last day of teaching for the school year!!!  We have a much needed "girls' night out" tonight.  I have many drinks throughout the evening and don't get home until 3am.  The hangover the next day was well worth it- haha!

CD 12- I got a call from the OBGYN's office today reminding me about the appointment on Wednesday. The receptionist asks me if I have called my insurance to see if they'd pay for the appointment. I'm like, huh? So I call my insurance....

They won't pay for a fertility consult.

I start crying (and this is 11am, and I'm at work!). I can't call DH because he's teaching, so I call my mom so I can have someone to cry to. She offers to pay for it!!! I didn't even call with the intention of asking her to pay, I seriously just didn't want to cry by myself. So then I'm worried about the cost because they couldn't tell me how much it's going to be. I know they want to do an ultrasound to see if there's a mature follicle. My friend Jen had an ultrasound when she had her miscarriage, and it cost her $600!


CD 14- So I went to the appointment yesterday...and it was amazing! He took me into his office and we talked for 20 minutes about my history before he even took me into a patient room. He said that I have sub-fertility, not infertility, and that he thinks I'm perfectly normal. He said only 75% of couples will conceive within a year. If I was 38, we'd be going at this aggressively, but since I'm only 24, he says we're going to take baby steps (haha). He told me all the things we would try as we go along and I'm still not pregnant. I got a referral to the Center for Applied Reproductive Science (CARS) to get DH's semen analyzed. Insurance won't pay for that, so my mom said she'd take care of it too.

Next week I'm going back on Day 21 of my cycle to get lab work done and check my progesterone levels to see if I actually ovulated. Insurance will pay for that because he's coding the visit as a "fatigue" complaint. It was funny... he's like, "Do you feel tired?" "Sometimes." "Do you feel like you could use an extra hour of sleep every night?" (Now he's winking at me). I'm like, "of course!" haha :):) I have a follow up visit on Monday, July 19th. Insurance probably won't pay for that because it'll be actual fertility stuff, not just an office visit (I only had to do a $40 co-pay for this visit, thank goodness). I feel like we're on the right track :D:D 

CD 17- Attended wedding #1 of 2 this week.  The bride and groom got Celtic wedding knots tattooed on their ring fingers!  They rented a house with 10 acres of property to get married and hold the reception at.  Gorgeous!  AND they went to Germany on their honeymoon :)  They asked DH and I advice about it before they left, since that's where we went for our honeymoon 4 years prior!

CD 21- First bloodwork ever done today. Everything was normal except for my progesterone levels, which were low. They said I wasn't ovulatory.  I kinda wasn't surprised because this cycle is probably going to be a long one. So not sure if "not ovulatory" means I don't ovulate or I hadn't ovulated by that point. They tested me on Day 21 because for any "normal" cycle, women ovulate on Day 14. Of course, my body can't be normal.

CD 23- Head to ATL for wedding #2 (my cousin's wedding).  Here's a dancing picture from the reception.  I'm the one on the far left.  L is in the middle (30 wks pregnant), and my cousin K is on the right (24 wks pregnant).  Can I say that I want a baby too?!?!

Sisters!  E, Me, and L

CD 25- According to my chart (tracking basal body temp and mucus), I ovulated today. So I don't know.

CD 26-30- I go to the beach with DH's cousins and uncle (minus DH since he had to work :( !)  It's a much needed vacation from my sub-fertility. 

The house!

I <3 the beach!

CD 32- I was talking with DH about it, and I think Dr. C should have done bloodwork on Day 21 AND Day 28 to see the progression of hormones throughout my cycle. I think I'm going to mention it to him at the next appointment. I'm already on Day 32 now, so it'll have to be for the next cycle.

CD 34- DH's SFA today.  It came back normal!  Praise God!  It was only $110, which is much cheaper than what I expected.  We paid for it ourselves, even though my mom offered to pay initially.

CD 35- I head to FL by myself (plus my dog, Riley) to visit family and help host my sister's baby shower on Saturday.  HP7 on 17 CDs (21 hours) keeps me company.

CD 36- Beach with my sister, E!  I promise there's sand behind the boulders- lol :)
Notice the barrier to keep the oil off the beach :(  Luckily, it worked!

CD 37- Scalloping!  It's a favorite pasttime of my family :)  One of the things I miss about living in FL...  The video was made for my mom since she couldn't come with us.  L is about 32 weeks along.

CD 38- L's baby shower.  Notice that I'm dutifully writing down all the gifts like a good big sister.  My grandma is on the other side of L.  I survived through the afternoon.  I should get some kind of award for that.

CD 39- AF returns :(  At least it held off until today instead of coming yesterday.  That would've made an already sad day even worse.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Prescription/Insurance Fiasco

My doctor gave me a prescription of Prometrium (progesterone supplement) back in December.  The prescription says "take one capsule on days 14-28 of cycle."  I filled the prescription on CD 2 (December 13th) but ended up not taking it that cycle because my ultrasound on CD 11 (December 22nd) showed that I wasn't ovulating this cycle.  So I saved the bottle for the next cycle and took it on CD 20 (January 17th).  13 days later, I'm pregnant(!!!!) and refill the prescription since my doc said to keep taking it if I'm pregnant and stop if I'm not.  I refill the prescription with no problems.  14 days later (yesterday), I have to refill it again.  I'm thinking it's annoying to keep refilling a 14 day prescription, but I'm using up the rest of it.  However, I call the automated CVS refill, and it won't refill it based on the quantity pills.  Now I'm thinking that it'll make me wait another 2 weeks before I can fill it.  I head down to CVS yesterday and speak with a pharmacist.  She tells me that they can call my doctor in the morning (today) and get a new prescription filled that won't be a 14 day one.  I thank her and go home.  Problem solved, right?

After lunch today, I call CVS.  They called my doctor and got a new prescription, but they can't fill it because my insurance won't let them (even though it's covered).  The earliest my insurance will fill it is Feb. 17th.  But I need it now because I took my last pill yesterday.  The pharmacist suggests calling my doctor to see if they have any extra samples I can take in the meantime.  So I call my doc.  They don't have any samples, and there's nothing they can do about my insurance.  So I call my insurance.  They say that it will be filled on the 19th, not the 17th, and that I have to get my doctor to fax and submit a "letter of medical necessity" to them with the doc's letterhead on it stating the drug name and reason why I need it.  Then my insurance will put an override on the prescription hold.  So I call my doc.  They say they can do that.  I ask the receptionist if it can be done this afternoon.  She says, no, and it'll probably be later this week!!!  That defeats the purpose of doing it in the first place.  So I call CVS again and ask them how much it'll cost me for 5 pills.


Sheesh.  I should've asked that in the first place.

Now I'm home with my 5 pills and my new prescription prenatal meds which are supposed to help with nausea.  Which started today.  Not complaining, just stating.  DH commented on it this morning when I had to stop eating breakfast.  He thought I said I wouldn't care about nausea once I was pregnant.  I told him that I didn't say I didn't care, just that I'd make a conscious choice not to complain about it.  Which I haven't :)  I do care that I'm nauseated, so I went by the grocery store this afternoon and picked up some saltines.  The only problem is that my students will ask me why I'm eating crackers throughout the day, and why can't they eat too?  I'm not ready to tell them I'm pregnant yet (I'll be 7 weeks on Wednesday), so I was thinking I'll just say I'm nauseated and that the crackers help.  I don't think they'd make the connection to pregnancy, but I'm thinking that if they go home and tell their parents, the parents will figure it out.  I'm not sure if there's a better way to go about explaining it to them or not.  Any suggestions?

P.S.  I have this gut feeling I'm having twins.  I can't shake it.  My CD 14 ultrasound showed one 19mm follicle on my right ovary and one 15mm follicle on my left ovary.  I'm pretty sure I conceived with the right one, but I don't know about the left.  I don't want to set myself up with the idea that I'm having twins only to be disappointed that there's just one.  Am I crazy, or what?!  I keep telling myself that it doesn't matter because I've still got a baby to love no matter what :)

P.S.S.  I'm having a baby! HA! :D

Thursday, February 10, 2011

TTC Cycle #7 & #8

TTC Cycle #7: February 22, 2010-March 25, 2010 (32 days)

I contacted the Couple to Couple League last cycle and asked them to analyze our six charts of TTC to see if they could give me any advice or help.  They say that they will and also ask me to submit a one week food journal.  The letter I get back from them is very disappointing.  There was nothing medical, just behavioral advice. She wants us to stop drinking alcohol altogether (which I don't do after I ovulate now anyway), de-stress by quitting my job as a 4th grade teacher (but she's not offering to help pay the mortgage) so I can learn to garden and cook, eat more meat (DH is a vegetarian and the primary cook, so I mostly eat vegetarian as well), and postpone TTC for at least six months, maybe longer, to prepare nutritionally and possibly de-stress from my job (we've already been TTC for seven months).  She thinks the stress is what's causing my long cycles (I later find out that it's not the stress, it's other medical reasons).  I personally think quitting my job would make me MORE stressed about paying the bills, not less.

I would LOVE to stay at home. But when I say we can't afford it, I mean we really can't afford it. DH has two part time jobs, no benefits. We went to a free health clinic on Wednesday, and he would have qualified for services if we weren't married because with my job it's considered household income and bumped him over the bracket.

We don't fit the CCL's standard of "traditional stay-at-home mom family setup".  As much as it is my dream to do that, it's not practical for us.  I'm discouraged with their "help", and I'm not renewing my membership for now.


In other news, I started taking Mucinex for the first time ever to help my mucus quantity/quality during Phase 2.

We visit DH's best friend, A, and his wife, K, for a weekend (they're 3 hours away from us).  They know we've been TTC since July 2009.  I was an open book back then, telling everyone that we were going to get pregnant and have a baby.  K and I talk about my unsuccessful endeavors, and I ask her if she's going to start TTC anytime soon (they've been married for a year and a half).  She says no, and that it'll probably be a few more years.

I decide to stop taking pregnancy tests, even for the ridiculously long cycles.  I keep torturing myself seeing "negative" over and over again.  I can't put myself through it anymore.

TTC Cycle #8: March 26, 2010-May 5, 2010 (41 days)

I continue with Mucinex for this cycle.  My temperature spikes twice--once on CD 20 and once on CD 29.  My charts seem to be more and more random.  It's really frustrating.

A friend recommends I see her OBGYN, Dr. C, to see if he can help me.  He's pro-life and familiar with NFP.  It takes me a while before I finally call and make an appointment.  I think I put it off because it's finally admitting to myself that there's something wrong with me.  The first available time they have for a new patient is 7 weeks away, on June 16, 2010.  I'm disappointed that I have to wait that long, but I'm glad that I finally called and scheduled an appointment.  At that point it'll be 11 months TTC, and I know from research that the standard time is 1 year if you're under 35.  We're still within the acceptable range of amount of time of TTC, but something in my gut tells me that I'm not normal.

On Easter Day, I get a text from my cousin, K, saying that they're 12 weeks pregnant with Baby #2!  I don't get depressed over this news because I know it took her 2 years to conceive Baby #1 and another 2 1/2 years to conceive Baby #2.  I'm thrilled for her.  Her baby is due six weeks after my sister's baby is due.  Lots of pregnant people in the family...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

TTC Cycle #5 & #6

TTC Cycle #5: December 7, 2009-January 11, 2010 (36 days)

I don't have a whole lot written down on my chart for this cycle. I did get to see my nephew (DH's sister's son) for the first time ever when he was around 3 weeks old. Holding that baby was something else. I caught myself pretending that he was mine a few times.

TTC Cycle #6: January 12, 2010-February 21, 2010 (41 days)

CD 1- It's the day of the Haiti earthquake. I got my period. It's a rather depressing day, but I'm feeling okay overall until my sister, E (who is 21 at the time), talks with me on facebook chat about our other sister, L (who is 19 at the time) [yes, I saved the conversation, and I'm only using initials for privacy]...

E- have you talked to mom or L recently?
Me- no. is something wrong?
E- uh oh
E- i thought you knew
Me- mom called me last night and left a message, and i called back and left her a message
Me- call me!!!
E- L is preggos
Me- ?!?!?!?!
E- yep
Me- freaking a
E- and keeping it
Me- and i can't get preg
E- B (E's boyfriend) said she should just give hers to you
yeah just thought id lighten the mood
but yeah shes pregnant
dont say anything yet to anyone

I call E at this point, BALLING my eyes out. (I still can't believe she told me over facebook chat when I told her to call me!). My baby sister is pregnant. She's not married, boyfriend is in jail again (because he didn't do his community service as part of his parole), and it was "on accident." I know I shouldn't be jealous of her situation because all I want is the baby. But I can't help it. I sob. And sob. And sob. Eventually I get off the phone with E and just continue crying on the couch. DH isn't home from work yet. 20 minutes into my crying session, my mom calls me (I don't know if E told her to call or if she was just returning my call at the right moment). I'm sobbing and hiccuping into the phone, and she says that she's sorry for me and wishes she could hold me and make it all better. I agree. This sucks. I've been trying for SIX months and L gets pregnant "on accident"?!?! It's not fair. Life's not fair. I'm pissed off at God and the world. I get off the phone with Mom right before DH gets home. He looks alarmed seeing me sobbing on the couch. He thinks someone died. He rushes over to me and I tell him L is pregnant. DH says, "I didn't see that coming." (being totally honest about the reason why I'm crying- not sarcastic at all). I cry. And cry. And cry. Until there are no tears left. I'M the responsible one. I'm married. I have a salary job. I have a mortgage. I planned everything out. And SHE gets to have a baby?! I'm drowning in sorrow and jealousy.

CD 33- DH and I drive to FL to be with his family for our nephew's open heart surgery.
CD 34- I have to leave the hospital room every time they do an x-ray for S (nephew) because I MIGHT be pregnant.
CD 35- 2 month old S has successful open heart surgery. It's a very emotional day. Lots and lots and lots of prayers.

CD 41- I post this on the facebook NFP group:
Here's the background situation: I'm currently on TTC Cycle 6, Day 41. My longest cycle ever was 39 days with the average being around 35. I bought a PT on Friday. I was planning on testing yesterday, but DH doesn't want me to. He doesn't want me to test positive only to start my period three days later. He'd rather us not know if we conceived to spare us the heartache of a miscarriage, which I imagine would be one of the most painful experiences of my life (seeing that we haven't been able to conceive yet). I think doctors call it a chemical pregnancy. Anyway, he'd rather me wait a week to test (next Saturday) when it's more probable that IF their is a pregnancy, it will last (he's all about numbers and statistics). That way if I start my period in a few days, it'll just be a late period and not a miscarriage to me. The only problem is that I want NOTHING more than to test and find out its positive right now. I'd rather know I had a baby and lost it then never knew it existed in the first place. My question is how many people test really soon and get a positive, only to get their period a few days later? Secondly, would you rather have not known you were pregnant to spare yourself the heartache?

The second thing is for people that take a long time TTC... how do you not get discouraged? DH says it's totally normal for us to be trying 7 months and not be pregnant yet, and I understand that every woman's body is different. But he's also saying that if I'm feeling this hopeless at 7 months (6 cycles), how can I keep trying for 1-2+ years and not keep reacting the way I do every month? How can I change my attitude when I feel so depressed?
CD 42- Post on facebook NFP page:
I started my period this morning at 7:15am. Had EXTREME cramping from 12:30-2:00pm. Like, I wanted to scoop my uterus out with a spoon kind of cramps. And I've never had menstrual cramps a day in my life!!! I always brag about it to my friends ;) Got home and took a pregnancy test at 3:45pm to confirm just in case. It was negative.

I never took the pregnancy test yesterday or the day before out of respect of DH's belief/opinion. But I'm wondering if the cramping was a sign of a miscarriage??? Now I'll never know :(

I emailed CCL copies of my six TTC charts. Don't know how long it'll be before they get back with me. Has anyone ever sent their charts in for review before?

TTC Cycle 7, Day 1. Thanks for all the prayers.
Another woman comments that heavy cramping doesn't necessarily mean it was a miscarriage.

I respond:
Thanks for the info- that's good to know. I actually had a friend just tell me about her own miscarrying experience. She had two positive tests while she was miscarrying- one the day it started (tested at the dr's) and another a few days later at home. She said that if I was pregnant the hormones would still read positive for a few weeks afterward. Since I tested negative this afternoon, that's another indicator that I wasn't ever pregnant in the first place.

Friday, February 4, 2011

TTC Cycle #4 & total amount spent TTC

TTC Cycle #4: October 29, 2009-December 6, 2009 (39 days)

CD 19- I had to get off my prescription acne meds in the spring before we started TTC. Needless to say, my face broke out and I looked like a 14-year-old with the amount of acne that was on my face (apparently my body didn't understand that I'm 24). Even an insensitive co-worker asked me "Aren't you too old to be having acne?" I'm using salicylic acid OTC acne stuff, and I'm not happy with the results. So I make an appointment with a dermatologist to ask if there's anything that I can be on that's safe for TTC. Her answer? No. It's all I can do to not start bawling in the patient room. I'm so self-conscious about my face, and it's really affecting my self-esteem. She tries to cheer me up by saying that I could even be pregnant now! Um, no. I'm already feeling depressed about not conceiving. I'm sacrificing coffee on a daily basis, alcohol after ovulation, and acne meds for a baby that doesn't even exist yet, and I feel and look like crap. I pay a $40 co-pay for absolutely nothing. Luckily I made it to the car before I started crying.

CD 30- We're in Florida. It's the day after Thanksgiving, and I'm at my SIL's baby shower. She's not married, family doesn't really like the baby's dad at all, and she's due December 23rd (DH's birthday). The shower is being held at the small, hippie private school that DH and his sister attended and MIL still teaches at. I'm struggling to get through the shower, but for the most part I'm okay because she conceived before DH and I started TTC, and I'm hoping that we conceive soon so the cousins can be close in age. During the shower, I get a call from a friend. She says that another one of our friends is pregnant with their 2nd child, and that they just announced it on facebook. We talk for a while and hang up. I rejoin the festivities with tears in my eyes, but I knew I could hold it together if I didn't have to talk to anyone (I only knew a couple people anyway- the rest were strangers to me). I last for about 10 minutes until DH asks me, "What's wrong?" I shook my head. I couldn't answer him without breaking out into tears in front of a room full of people. He takes me outside to the front of the school, and I lose it. I start weeping in his arms, and it takes me a few minutes before I can tell him about the phone conversation. I'll spare you the messy details. DH eventually calms me down, and we head back inside 15 minutes later. I look like I've been crying, but thankfully everyone leaves me alone. It's all I can do to hold it together while watching SIL open more baby presents.

CD 36- Even though SIL was due on December 23rd, she has the baby today on December 3rd via emergency cesarean because he was in breech and her water had broken. Turns out that the baby also has Down syndrome and an interrupted aortic arch that requires open-heart surgery (she had ZERO pre-natal care [which I disagreed with but won't tell her what to do], so she could've known about these ahead of time, but didn't). We didn't know about the latter until later, and he actually could've died after they took him home. It's a miracle he survived.

CD 40- I get my period. My cycles are so freaking long! I was really hoping that since it was taking so long, I was already pregnant. Wrong again.

I was curious about the amount of money that we spent TTC, so I thought I'd add it up...

Co-pays for OBGYN visits: $275
Co-pays for sessions with therapist (started seeing her after 14 months TTC): $100
Prescription medications (Clomiphene, Femara, Metformin, & Prometrium): $220.97
Seminal Fluid Analysis: $110
Pregnancy tests: $56.22
Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor and test sticks: $104.55
Pre-natal vitamins: $50

TOTAL: $906.74

Having a baby: PRICELESS!!!! :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

TTC Cycle #3 & update on pregnancy at 5 wks

TTC Cycle #3: September 23, 2009-October 28, 2009 (36 days)

This cycle I am now due June 30, 2010. Calculating a new date gives me hope. I'll have a summer baby, and it'll be great! Now I can have my summer break plus 12 weeks off the beginning of the school year :)

I read Fertility, Cycles & Nutrition (3rd edition) by Marilyn Shannon. I have a short luteal phase, so I start taking 100mg B6 to help with that since it's what she recommends.

I make a goal this month to have sex every other day during more fertile mucus. I write "MAKE TIME!!" :) on my chart. It didn't happen, but I'm still hopeful that I'm pregnant.

CD 5- We got to Lexington, KY for a UF vs UK football game. Loads of fun!

CD 11-12- Camping at Graveyard Fields off the Blue Ridge Parkway

CD 14- First time my thermometer battery died since I started charting 2 years ago! Replacement cost a few bucks at Radio Shack.

CD 34- Breasts hurt and nipples are tender. I'm thinking these are pregnancy signs and start to get very hopeful.

CD 37- Get my period :(

Present Day:
I'm five weeks pregnant today (according to the ever popular 'count from your last period' that the medical community uses). I peaked according to my Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor on CD 18 & 19 (it gives you 2 days of Peak fertility). According to the 'count from your last period', I'm due October 5, 2011. I'd personally add 4 or 5 days (knowing from when I peaked), but I'll just wait till the first ultrasound to confirm. Which is on February 25th at 8 weeks 2 days. They told me to expect the visit to last 2 1/2 hours!!! Ultrasound can't be more than 15 minutes, so I'm assuming the rest of the time will be spent talking and doing paperwork.

Yesterday I went in for some blood-work so my doc could check my progesterone levels. I'm currently taking 100mg Prometrium per day. Last cycle when I didn't ovulate, my progesterone level was 1.5. Today it is 56.6. Doc said that it's very encouraging, and he's happy with the numbers but keeping me on the Prometrium for now.

In other news, I had a hair appointment today because I hadn't gotten my hair cut in 11 months. I walk in the door, and the first thing my hairdresser says to me is, "Are you pregnant?"!!!

My draw drops.

Me: "Yes."

Keep in mind that I haven't seen this woman in 11 months, and I hadn't told her that we're TTC.

Hairdresser: "Have you had the baby?"
Me: "What? No..."
Hairdresser: "So you're pregnant now?"
Me: "Yes. I'm 5 weeks."
Hairdresser: "OH!"

It was a weird conversation.

Then at yoga tonight, my instructor asks the class before we begin if anyone has anything about their body that they'd like her to know about. A few people raise their hands and talk about neck and lower back issues. I raise my hand and tell her I'm pregnant. My friend who goes with me is shocked that I just announced it to a room full of strangers (but I don't really care about the strangers- just the people who actually know me). The teacher says it shouldn't really affect me now, but that I should be aware of what my body is telling me throughout the class. Later on in the pregnancy, I need to make sure my core temperature doesn't rise too high as well.

Prayer Request: For a friend who is losing a foster baby this Friday after raising her from 3 days old until now at 6 months. My heart aches for her.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

TTC Cycle #2

Before I start, I have to say that I feel a little guilty for just starting a sub-fertility blog and finding out days later that I'm pregnant. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled about this pregnancy, but I don't want to feel like an outsider in this group either. Sub-fertility is a huge part of who I am, and being pregnant now doesn't change that, I know. Just some issues I need to work through...

TTC Cycle #2: August 18, 2009-September 22, 2009 (36 days)

When I get my first period after TTC, I was MAJORLY bummed to say the least. Spent a few days crying. After a while, I talked myself up, saying that it HAD to happen this cycle. What are the odds that it wouldn't?!

My old due date for the last cycle was April 21, 2010. My new due date is May 25, 2010. I decided to start calculating a new due date every cycle to give myself something to look forward to.

A friend at work was having surgery and would be out for a month. Then she announces that she had to cancel the surgery because at her pre-op appointment they found out that she is 4 weeks pregnant! I speak with her and tell her that we're TTC too! She gets really excited for me and hopes that I conceive soon so our babies will be close in age and we can hang out. She's due April 26, 2010. She told me that she got off the pill 9 months prior and wasn't really trying for a baby, but just seeing if it might happen. I'm so sure it won't take me THAT long.

I was wrong.